Every year in October, we throw our gates open and welcome the community to a fun-filled, Sun-filled day of learning about astronomy, engaging in space-themed crafts and activities, winning science prizes, and enjoying locally made ice cream and steel drum music. Unfortunately, that's just not possible this year. So instead we've created a way for you to safely replicate the experience from home. (You'll have to supply the music and ice cream, however.)  

In the videos below, you can: 

  • Sneak a peek at some seldom-seen nooks and crannies in our building, like our astronomical plate vault and sub-basement ruling engine
  • Meet some of our instrumentation specialists and learn how they use our Machine Shop to design experiments and drive new discoveries
  • Hear about astronomical discoveries that happened during the 1918 Flu pandemic
  • Tour Mount Wilson Observatory and Las Campanas Observatory, and learn about the Giant Magellan Telescope
  • Learn about what our community asked our astronomers on social media
  • Get instructions for at-home astro activities

You can also participate in daily #AskAnAstronomer polls on our Twitter feed and join us Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Pacific for a stargazing party on our Zoom channel.

We look forward to a time when we can once again welcome you to our Pasadena campus. Until then, please enjoy our 2020 Virtual Open House! 


Ask An Astronomer

Throughout the week of our Virtual Open House, we asked our friends and fans on Twitter to vote on questions that they'd like our astronomers to answer. We posted videos for the winning questions right away, but now you can see both sets of answers!





























Do-at-home Activities

Several of the fun space-themed activities you and your family may have enjoyed at our previous Open Houses can be done at home or in your virtual classroom. Just follow the instructions in the links below!

Make a Pocket Solar System

Build a Spectroscope

Galilean Cannon

You may have experienced this fun demonstration in person at a previous open house. Here is a video of the cannon in action: